If you’re tired of the same old routine and you’re looking for something more fun and adventurous to do with your family, I may have the answer for you. Have you ever considered extreme sports? They can help to boost your health and communication as a family and will also ensure that you create some amazing memories together.
It can be hard to decide which extreme sport to choose from. There’s so many different ones out there and you need all sorts of equipment. Chill Factore, which is the home to one of the many fun things to do in Manchester for adults and children, explores the nation’s best extreme sports for families…
Rock climbing is something that a lot of people have experienced before. I know that I first did it when I was in school on one of their residential trips. It can be quite scary, but you can start small on an indoor climbing wall eventually moving up to scaling cliff faces outdoors. It’s a really exciting activity which can get your adrenaline pumping. Kids love it and they can pretend that they are Spiderman!
Rock climbing first started to become a loved sport around the end of the 1800s, with the Lake District considered one of three, major ‘birthplaces of rock climbing’ (the others are in Italy and Germany).
Benefits of rock climbing for families
- Builds upper and lower body strength.
- Enhances problem-solving skills (i.e. considering the best route for reaching the top).
- Encourages concentration.
Rock climbing as a family
As I mentioned before, it’s best if you start off on an indoor climbing wall if you are a beginner. If you’re just starting out, make sure you choose an instructing company with a high customer rating — especially for safety and teaching. The Association of British Climbing Walls is a good place to start if you’re looking for a climbing wall in your area.
Snowkiting is something that I have never heard of before. Apparently, it’s an exciting winter sport and it is growing in popularity. Generally, the snowkiting season runs from October until June, with the best time to go snowkiting being around Christmas time — ideal for a winter sun or festive family break with a difference. In snowkiting, your family will use the power of a kite to board or ski over snow – it sounds so exciting, doesn’t it? After time, you can learn to pull off big jumps and land with ease, plus you have the opportunity to snowkite over frozen lakes which offers an unforgettable experience – a really great way to make memories.
Snowkiting has been around for only a few years as a serious sport which is why I haven’t heard of it, but it was born out of a fusion of snowboarding and the growing demand by sporting fans for foil kites (an aeroplane wing shaped cloth structure).
Benefits of snowkiting for families
- Improves balance and coordination.
- Allows you to breath in fresh, unpolluted air.
- Uses all major muscle groups.
Snowkiting as a family
Booking a snowkiting holiday during the winter holidays is a great way to shake off those winter blues. It would make a great Christmas present for the kids and it’s a great bonding experience.
I wouldn’t have thought that rafting is classed as an extreme sport, but apparently it is! Rafting is a top extreme sport for families. Rafting helps to encourage team work and is a great way to explore British waterways and countryside, it’s no surprise that families opt for rafting experiences to enjoy quality time together. It’s a great sport for those who love the outdoors.
Brits have rafted for decades and you can book rafting excursions from a huge range of watersports companies and tours. The British Canoeing organisation — the UK’s national governing body for paddlesports — has been around since 1936, while the International Scale of River Difficulty is adopted by most nations to rate rapids to help keep rafters safe.
There’s so many fantastic rafting destinations within the UK, so you don’t need to shell out on flights.
Benefits of rafting for families
- Helps boost communication, as your family must speak clearly to each other to navigate the boat.
- Allows for family bonding — no time for, or place to keep, phones and tablets on board.
- Enhances self-esteem and gives a feeling of accomplishment. You and your family can track your journey and take on key roles on board to make sure you reach the end safely.
Rafting as a family
It’s always a good idea to make sure you book a session with an on-board instructor. Safety should always come first.If you haven’t done this sport before, you’ll need to wear synthetic layers (e.g. long-sleeve shirts and trousers), life jacket, windproof jacket, and helmet. Renting a wetsuit might be a good idea, too, and you’ll need to make sure you have rescue throw bags, if your rafting company doesn’t provide you with these.